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Updated on: Sunday, May 24, 2020, 01:32 PM IST

'Sex on false promise of marriage isn't rape': Orissa HC disagrees previous interpretations

'Sex on false promise of marriage isn't rape': Orissa HC disagrees previous interpretations
 | PTI

'Sex on false promise of marriage isn't rape': Orissa HC disagrees previous interpretations | PTI

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Orissa High Court on Saturday ruled that having sexual intercourse on false promise of marriage does not amount to rape. The court set aside a lower court order that had not granted bail to a person accused of committing rape of a 19-year-old.

Rape accused G Achyut Kumar had moved the Orissa High Court after the Court of Sessions-cum-Special Judge Koraput-Jeypore had rejected his bail plea. However, the Orissa HC granted him bail and ruled that sex on the pretext of marriage does not mean rape.

The New Indian Express quoted Justice SK Panigrahi as saying, "The factual matrix of the case is based on a prima facie view based on records as so many aspects of the matter are hungry for a thorough trial and till that time, the benefit of bail deserves to be passed on to the appellant."

Earlier, a 19-year-old had filed a complaint against Kumar at Patangai police station of Koraput district. Apparently she had alleged that Kumar had earlied promised that he would marry her and established sexual relationship with her following which she got pregnant twice.However, both the times he had terminated her pregnancy. The police had booked him under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code for committing rape.

However, after Kumar moved the HC, Justice Panigrahi ruled that false promise of marriage amounts to rape is erroneous as Section 375 of IPC does not cover it.

He also said that the rape laws should not be used to regulate intimate relationships, especially in the cases where women have agency and are entering a relationship by choice.

Further the judgement also said that it is disturbing to see many of the complaints come from socially disadvantaged and poor segment of the society and rural areas, who are often lured into sex by men on false promises of marriage and then dumped as soon as they get pregnant. The rape law often fails to capture their plight.

Similarly, according to a report in the Hindustan Times, earlier in 2017, Justice Mridula Bhatkar of Bombay HC had observed that when two consulting adults consciously enter into a physical relationship and are fully aware of the consequences and must bear the same. The court was hearing a plea by a man who was accused of rape by his former wife.

While hearing the plea, Justice Bhatkar observed that the woman was an adult, educated and a working woman who was aware of the consequences of keeping sexual relations with a man. Justice Bhatkar on these grounds dicharged the accused of the rape charges filed against him.

Moreover, recently, the Bombay High Court had pronounced a significant ruling holding that ‘consent’ obtained by a man from a woman, on the assurance that he loves her alone and no one else, would not be considered ‘consent’.

The High Court further held that maintaining sexual relations on such an assurance would amount to rape.

The order was pronounced by Justices Sunil Shukre and Madhav Jamdar, while dismissing a man's plea to discharge him in a rape case.

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Published on: Sunday, May 24, 2020, 10:36 AM IST
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